Infamous design super hero Stefan Sagmeister suggests you might want to take some time off to recharge those creative batteries and help get those inspirational juices flowing through the system once again. The only thing is, we live and work in a dog eat dog, money by the minute (billable hours anyone?) society that sucks creativity dry like a ravenous vampire. We take less time off in America than any other country on this entire planet. I am taking two weeks off next week for the first time in 2 years. I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams even considering taking off an entire year.

Thanks for the advice Stefan, but until the system gives a little, I don’t see many of us that aren’t already independently wealthy taking off an entire year. Not unless you want to lose your job and your mortgage. It’s not that I don’t agree, it’s just that I also live in this country called America where I work as an Art Director and designer and exist in a reality where never before in all of history has time been more equivacol to money. My vacation usually consists of a beer at the end of a long day. Until perceptions and norms seriously shift, or until the working public has just finally had enough, I don’t see employers bending much on allowing time off for employees that are burned. That is exactly why you see so very many people burning themselves right out of the ad business. Sometimes the well just dries up after it’s been over tapped day in and day out.

I definitely support his argument, I just don’t know who the hell, other than independent small business owners with a penchant for risk and an enjoyment for bucking trends, could realistically try something like giving both themselves and their employees a real amount of time off to recharge. I think time will tell, in this system that is quite literally killing all of us with stress that he is probably right.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

6 Responses to “TED Talks – Stefan Sagmeister”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Well, if you listen to what he says, he stats that only 1 year in every 7 he takes off. If you’re smart about your savings and your money, it can most definitely be done. 7 years is ample to save and prepare for such a sabbatical. If you can’t take 1 year off to better your creative process and improve on it (allowing for fresh thoughts that aren’t a reproduction of others’ work) then there’s something wrong.

    Not saying it has to be done, but it’s hardly impossible and he makes a very realistic statement.

  2. Christopher Cox Says:

    Man, I don’t know what sector of the business you work in but a year off while working for an ad agency or a competitive design firm is absolutely unheard of in the States. Unheard of.

    Sure, if you are a freelancer and you are doing really well (in the middle of a deepening recession) then maybe you could pull it off. And yes, it would be worth it, so long as you didn’t sacrifice your mortgage, your kids college tuition and your job.

    So as to whether or not you can or can’t take off a year to better your creative process and improve on it, yes there is something wrong. It’s called ‘having a job’.

  3. Wayne Says:

    Well, yes, if you want to just simply take the year off not a lot of companies will let you do that. If you freelance, or run your own company and it’s doing well, then I’d say you can afford to.

    Like he says – it increases profits because it stimulates the work, so it’s completely beneficial – not detrimental.

    Don’t use “the recession” as the staple excuse it is these days. If you’re good, and work hard you shouldn’t worry about hanging on to your job with dear life.

  4. Wayne Says:

    PS. Yes, in the States it’s unheard of, which is why I don’t live there. It’s far too much a workaholic place to be right now – even if it’s a job we love doing (art directing, designing, whatever) it somewhat kills the spirit.

  5. BBB Says:

    You just gotta be famous and rich and Stefan is kind of a celebrity amongst the traditional designers like David Carson.

    Some of you average-joe’s on here probably ain’t gonna be able to do it.

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